Rum is a spirit made for lazing poolside or on some gorgeous beach somewhere, right? Well, that is true, but don’t think of rum as just your vacation beverage go-to. While it is true that just the thought of a daiquiri, Rum Runner, Rum Punch, or Mai Tai can put you in mind of your last cruise, you really shouldn’t be sleeping on rum as a spirit to enjoy year-round. A good, aged rum served neat or with a big ice cube can warm you up on a brisk fall day, and a hot buttered rum can make even the coldest winter night tolerable.
To celebrate National Rum Day, why not try one of these cocktails. They’re great in August, and still just as great in February.
Readers of theLUSHiouslife know that the Dark & Stormy, made with dark rum and ginger beer is one of my favorite drinks. And even though I sipped my first one during a heat wave one summer, I discovered that the warmth from the rum and the peppery ginger make it an excellent tipple for colder weather. Here’s a delicious take on the classic from master mixologist and all-around great guy Jesse Card.
Cruzan Black Strap Navigator
2 parts Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1/2 part Fresh Lime Juice
Q Ginger Beer
Method: Build ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass over ice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Coconut Old Fashioned
Now I’m not a fan of coconut—I’m allergic—but I do love an Old Fashioned and the island twist in this one has me wishing I could just have a sip.
2 parts Cruzan Single Barrel Rum
1/2 part Rich Simple Syrup
3 dashes of Bitters
Coconut Water Ice Cubes (recipe to follow)*
Method: Cut a wide swath of orange peel and lightly press it in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add rum, syrup and bitters. Now drop in a few coconut water ice cubes and stir gently.
*Coconut Water Ice Cubes: Pour a can of coconut water (strain the pulp out first, if needed) in an ice cube tray – the bigger the cube tray the better – and freeze for several hours.
I recently treated myself to a late afternoon/early evening visit to one of my favorite rooftop bars in NYC. I love a rooftop bar, it combines most of my favorite things: skyline views, a fresh breeze on a hot day, and tasty cocktails. On that day I fell in love with the Bermuda Swizzle or Rum Swizzle, which has been called Bermuda’s national drink. It combines two different kinds of rum (dark and amber), Angostura bitters and pineapple juice and other juices. It’s other because like most punches, the particulars depends on who is making it, and everyone swears their recipe is the proper one. I’ve seen swizzles with orange juice, with simple syrup, Bermuda falernun, grenadine, even Cointreau. Play around with the ingredients and come up with your own masterpiece. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started.
4 oz Dark rum
4 oz Gold rum
8 oz Pineapple juice
8 oz Orange Juice
¾ oz Grenadine
6 dashes Angostura Bitters
Garnish: 1 Orange slice, pineapple cube and cherry
Method: Fill a pitcher a third of the way with crushed ice and add all the ingredients. Churn vigorously until frothing (or shake in a large shaker) and strain into 4 rocks glasses filled with fresh ice.Garnish each with an orange slice, a pineapple cube and a cherry.
When I Instagrammed the photo above, it proved so enticing to my friend Alan Snook, he immediately asked for the recipe, the next day he sent me the pics. Mixing drinks isn’t just for the pros or those in the know. Cut loose with a cocktail of your own!